The 25 September ruling rejects the government’s attempts to redraw voting boundaries – a move which it said is to protect future elections from legal challenges, but is also aimed at ending its deadlock with parliament. The opposition has accused the government of pushing for the change in order to bring in more pro-government candidates at the expense of opposition Islamist and tribal assembly members. If the electoral law had been declared unconstitutional, it would have paved the way for the Amir to dissolve parliament, modify the law and call elections, probably in October.

The 2006 law reduced 25 constituencies to five. The government challenged the law this summer following a period of intense political instability since February elections swept an Islamist-dominated parliament into power. Parliament has fought fiercely with the government, and the lack of compromise has stymied the country’s development plans. (CONTINUED - 910 WORDS)